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MotoGP Assen: Mir dealt double start line contact

Joan Mir had his own trouble on Sunday when the Suzuki Ecstar endured two collisions on the MotoGP start line for the Dutch GP at Assen.

With Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira clipping the side of the GSX-RR just as the 2020 Champion slammed the brakes on to engage the holeshot in his starting box, Mir then collected Luca Marini’s Mooney VR46 Ducati as the lights released the action.

Both the RC16 and GP22 lost parts of their wings in the contact, with Mir the highest placed of the trio, in eighth, at the flag.


“What happened is that well, first with Miguel, is that I arrived to my starting point, and then I braked hard to activate the holeshot front and for some reason he didn't expect that I brake and he touch me,” Mir said of the pre-race drama. "I think that lost his wing but it was a pretty hard hit but we could start the race.

“Then with Luca, I started pretty well, then, because I was faster than him on the start, I was able to go a bit on the left to take the outside then he wheelie a bit and he go a bit to the inside part and we both touch. So hopefully he's fine, I'm fine and we could continue the race, because it's not a good place for crashing there.”

Oliveira was just as laid back about the incident.

“Was an incident just before the start,” he confirmed. "Joan, I think he activated his device in his spot, so I was definitely not expecting him to brake that hard and first of all, I was just looking for my spot!

“It was an incident that could have been a bit worse because I could have just hit him on his back wheel with my front tyre and that could have been worse. I broke the lever protection and my wing on the right side. It became a little bit difficult to ride without it.

“The bike was a bit unstable on the fast parts - sector two and four - and that's it. Basically I couldn't do one-tenth faster, I think it was what I missed and also the consistency when I had huge moments or tank slappers, where the pads open and I have to regroup and lose some time.

Marini, however, was a little more critical.

“I didn't see on the TV but on the bike, I just make my start and my line and Joan cut my line,” the Italian reflected. “I don't know why, maybe it was not his fault because when the bike start to do wheelie is difficult to control but for sure was a dangerous movement.

“I tried to avoid the contact but was impossible so I was lucky to don't crash there because there were many riders behind me and could be dangerous moment.

“Unfortunately my right winglet was broken in that contact, then the bike was impossible to ride and I just tried to finish the race. In the first laps I understood that something was wrong on the bike because I could never do nothing, especially in the fast part of the circuit and this track is all fast! I didn't want to finish my race with a retire, with a DNF, so I just try to arrive at the end of the race and with my pace, try to be constant, try to train myself in some way and that's it.”

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